John Medina’s Brain Rule #12: Exploration

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John Medina’s Brain Rules is one of my favorite books because of its importance for a superteacher.  I use these concepts in my classroom.  The rest of the Brain Rules title is 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School.  Medina’s book covers these twelve rules, and the video below is about his twelfth rule is on curiosity and exploration:

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Medina references education as it relates to curiosity and exploration.  When it comes to transferring information between people, whether you are teaching or presenting, we must realize our goal is brain development.  In order to develop the brains of our audience members, we must understand how the brain works.

Education is meant to be exploration… the satiation of curiosity.  Why, then, are classrooms and lectures so boring?!  My students and I talked about that today, on the first day of Professional Communication and Presentation.  One student named Luis suggested that boring lectures are directed by people who don’t care about the audience they’re directing.  I think that is true, but I also think that boring lecturer could transform into a superteacher if he or she is committed to understanding how the brain works so as to better transfer knowledge to his or her audience.

Superteachers: Has Brain Rules influenced the way you teach your students?  What is your favorite rule from Medina’s book?

A Florida Public School Student Knows More About Presentations Than His Teachers

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When I have an amazing student, I call him or her a “precious angel.”  This is something my co-workers laugh and joke about at work… They’ll ask, “How are your precious angels this month, Alex?”  Many factors go into whether or not a student is a precious angel… or “PA” for short.  At the top of the list include a tenacious work ethic and a passion for learning.

Daniel Thrasher, a former Florida public school student, would be at the tip top of the PA list:

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Even though this young man has never been a student of mine, and even though I’ve never met him, he is the definition of a “precious angel.”  Even the Ms. Nastys of the world would agree.

My students and I were talking this morning about WHY the Nancy Duarte/Garr Reynolds method of visual design emphasizing visuals works for students.  And I think this PA explained it better in his video than I did in class today.